Looking to switch energy suppliers? The good news is that you’re almost certain to save money on your gas and electricity bills, for example if you choose a fixed rate tariff. In September 2015, 97 per cent of our customers switched to a fixed rate tariff to save.
There are a lot of different energy tariff options out there and it can get confusing. So read on to understand the options so you know what you’re looking at.
How does a fixed tariff work?
Fixed tariffs ‘fix’ the price of your energy for an agreed period of time, usually at least 12 months. With a fixed price tariff you’ll only be charged the agreed (fixed) rate for the energy you use, during the time period agreed.
That doesn’t mean your bills will always be the same, mind you – they’ll still vary depending on how much energy you use each month.
A fixed tariff is often a cheaper option. It’s useful as you can budget better around how much you’re spending on fuel each month, bearing in mind that you would have to use roughly the same amount. This might not always be possible, especially in those winter months, so make sure to factor in potential increases in the amount of energy you use. The downside is you won’t benefit if energy prices drop, as you’ll still be paying the fixed rate agreed until the end of the term.
A standard tariff or variable tariff means you are not tied to a contract for any amount of time. It means you’re free to switch supplier or tariff whenever you like, without any restrictions like exit fees.
Standard tariffs are often more expensive than fixed tariffs. Be wary of prices going up as well as down, particularly if budgeting is not your strong point. Think about the benefits of knowing that the rate is not going to increase. This is where a fixed tariff can be helpful.
Before you switch
Check whether your current energy supplier will charge you an exit fee to leave: your current energy bill should tell you. But it could still be worth your while to switch energy suppliers, depending on how much money you’d save from switching your gas and electricity suppliers. Weigh up the options carefully.
You can often save more than you think. Take a look – compare gas and electricity prices just by clicking on the green button above.
How do I compare and switch?
Some people think it sounds like too much hassle, but switching is pretty quick and straightforward; just click above. It’s useful if you have a recent energy bill to hand as you can use our Snapt app to scan the QR code and get quotes based on your actual usage.
But don’t worry if you can’t find one, there are some simple questions to answer instead, about your home and how many people live there, which helps us to estimate your energy use. Just enter a few details and hey presto! You’ll get a list of energy deals available in your area, starting with the cheapest.
Will switching take long?
Switching supplier shouldn’t take long. It can take as little as 17 days and should be completed within 21 days. See ourSwitching Times page for an overview of some of the main suppliers’ timings. All of the same pipes and wires are used no matter who’s providing your energy, so there won’t be any disruption at home. In fact you probably won’t even notice when the switch has taken place. Until you see those savings of course!
Always take a meter reading on the day your energy is due to be switched over. This means you can check you’re not charged by your new supplier for any energy used before the swap. It’s also a good idea to take a meter reading every month so you can keep an eye on your usage and check you’re not paying too much.
Things to consider
It’s often cheaper to get a ‘dual fuel’ deal, meaning you get both your gas and electricity from the same supplier.
Once you have decided to switch there is a two-week 'cooling off' period. This means you’re allowed to change your mind during this time and can decide to stop the switch process.
There are other ways you can save money on your energy bills too. It’s obvious really, but by being more energy efficient you use less energy and so spend less. This is a double bonus as it’s kinder to the planet as well. Have a look at our energy saving tips page: there are lots of simple steps you can take but they can add up to make quite a difference to your bills.
Whatever you decide works best for your energy needs, let us help you compare prices and tariffs and make that switch.